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Statue of Shakyamuni Buddha as the Gohonzon and Focus of Devotion for Rissho Kosei-kai members.
The Focus of Devotion inside the Great Sacred Hall at RK's headquarters in Tokyo. Japan.

It is the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni—Great Benevolent Teacher, World-honored One whom we revere and venerate as the Gohonzon, or focus of devotion, of Rissho Kosei-kai.

The Gohonzon is the integrated figure of the human Shakyamuni Buddha, who appeared on earth and taught the Dharma approximately twenty-five hundred years ago, and the Eternal Buddha, described in chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra: “The Eternal Life of the Tathagata.”

The Eternal Buddha is the fundamental power that has, from the infinite past, sustained all living beings throughout the universe. It is the omnipresent, great Life of the Universe.

Through paying homage or reciting the sutra before the Buddha enshrined in our altar, we aim to become people who can humbly revere and dedicate ourselves to the Buddha, which is essential to cultivating our hearts and minds.

Revering the Buddha and reciting the sutra are not just repetitive formalities but rather an effort to understand the Buddha’s teaching and continually live our lives in accordance with the Buddha’s wisdom. Taking refuge in the Gohonzon means that we take and keep as our own the Buddha’s wish to liberate all people from suffering and diligently walk the Buddha’s path.

a Buddhist praying at a altar with folded hands.
A member offers daily Threefold Lotus Sutra recitation at their home altar.

​Rissho Kosei-kai's religious faith is in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was the first human who awakened to the Dharma.

The Dharma is the invisible energy that sustains, guides, and improves us and is the root of our being. It is our Focus of Devotion, the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, the Great Benevolent Teacher, the World-honored One. 

Shakyamuni realized the great life force of the universe, or the Dharma (the Truth), and represented the One Vehicle. It is natural to symbolize the Dharma through the image of Shakyamuni Buddha. Not only did he appear to preach what became Buddhism, but he was also a living example of it. 

The Eternal Buddha is omnipresent in the universe. He is the great life force that sustains and guides everything with compassion. The Buddha appears in various forms. Appropriate to the particular time and place for release from suffering. At the same time, by means suited to people's capacity to understand his teachings. Since the Eternal Buddha is one with the Truth of the universe, we have only to tune our minds to the Buddha's. And the Buddha will then appear to us. We vow to liberate ourselves and all people from suffering by taking refuge in the Eternal Original Buddha. That is the Buddha's wish.

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